Friday, March 11, 2011

Hope for a happy ending

Corey woke me up at 3:22am to tell me there had been an earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I couldn't really process that information before falling back asleep, but it was the first thing on my mind when I woke up.

As I listened to news about the disaster on my way to work, I began thinking about who I know in Japan. I was friends in high school with a foreign exchange student named Yoko. We remained pen pals for a few years but stopped writing in college. I wondered if she and her twin sister are ok. I also thought about one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, who lives in Tokyo.

Tonight I googled Haruki Murakami with tsunami to find out if he is safe. That question wasn't answered, but I found this eery article opener from The Los Angeles Times on February 25, 2005:

TOKYO — Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has never witnessed a tsunami. But he has imagined one.

In his 1988 short story "The Seventh Man," Murakami's narrator is a man damaged by the childhood memory of watching his best friend sucked away by a killer wave, the furious sea retreating, he wrote, as if "a gigantic rug had been yanked by someone at the other end of the earth." A stream of fiction has come from Murakami since that story. But its theme of inconsolable loss came back to the author while watching images of Southeast Asia's recent calamity, where anguish endures long after the calamity passes.

I haven't read "The Seventh Man" but its relevance makes me want to read it before some of the other things written by him which I still haven't read. (I have read Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.)

Haruki and Yoko I'm thinking of you today!


stephanie said...

That article. Bizarre.

Avid Reader said...

That's crazy! I can't believe those were the opening lines of the article. I hope he's ok.

andymac said...

those are his two best imho

Captain Nick Sparrow said...

I just found this:
Jay Datema 日付: 2011-03-15 時刻: 08:20 JST スパムを報告
Dear All, Since the big earthquakes hit Japan in the afternoon of Friday, 11th March 2011, we have received so many heartfelt messages from all over the world and truly appreciate your sympathies and encouraging words. I would like to reply to each of you separately, but please allow me to send this message to you all on my return to the office after the anxious weekend. Luckily, Haruki Murakami and his family were away from Japan when the earthquakes struck and are still in a safe place. Also, all his staff members in Japan are okay and have got no direct damages. As you should know from media reports, the earthquakes and tsunamis have caused serious damages in northeastern Japan. So far, Tokyo is safe, though we are still frightened by aftershocks and possible induced quakes. I really hope that as many lives as possible are saved and believe your prayers reach suffering people in this country. With many thanks and best wishes, Assistant to Haruki Murakami (3/14/11).